Promethean is Carroll County Public Schools’ interactive classroom solution. Teachers in CCPS are provided with the full-professional license of ActivInspire in order to create interactive, engaging learning opportunities for students. ActivInspire provides educators with a rich, interactive software application that allows for dynamic, multimedia-rich resources as well as collaborative functionality that addresses multiple learning styles in the classroom. Integrated tools allow for enhanced classroom efficiency and ActivInspire’s software interface provides teachers a single application for simplifying lesson preparation and delivery. Our current license allows for any teacher to develop ActivInspire flipcharts with or without access to an ActivBoard, ActivSlate, or Promethean Response systems.
ActivInspire for Home Use
As of April 2013 CCPS teachers who would like to install Promethean’s ActivInspire on their personal home computers need to follow this set of directions. You will also need to secure the activation key from the CCPS Instructional Technology Team. Open a copy of this Home Install of ActivInspire and read it over to get the process started.
Guidelines for Use
Best Practices – Curriculum Connections
ActivInspire is a software application that can be used PreK-12 and supports instruction in all content areas. Here are a few ideas of how CCPS teachers are using this application:
- Using Desktop Annotate to interact with websites and/or images from the document camera
- Creating containers that provide corrective feedback to students as a learning center
- Using Pen tool to hide answers and allowing students to “rub and reveal” the answer with the eraser
- Using the Extract Text feature or paint can function within a text box (not locked) to teach note taking techniques, synthesis strategies, and vocabulary study
- Create digital storybooks that allow for interactive reading strategies, word prediction, parallel writing activities, etc.
- Embedding video clips within a flipchart to allow for still images to be captured while viewing the video content (can then be used for sequencing activities, labeling an image, creating a background image, etc.)
- Using the screen recorder tool to capture a mini-lesson for replay or remediation; having students use the screen recorder tool to develop instructional tutorials or to capture metacognition during problem solving
- Using the Caption Tool to provide “tooltips” with vocabulary support for ELL students or modern foreign language students
- Using the Camera Tool to embed student pictures or work samples into daily instruction and instructional examples
- Creating an Essential Questions page of your unit’s flipchart in order to add ideas, information, and responses throughout the unit of study (think of creating a Math Graffiti wall of sorts)
- Explore the Activities and Templates area of the Shared Resources to identify graphic organizers that scaffold your lesson and save time in lesson development
- Add User Defined Buttons to programs, URLs, or documents that you refer to often throughout a unit of instruction (either via the Edit Profiles area or by dragging a commonly used item to the main toolbox)
- Create your own Resource Packs with helpful images, resources, sound files, etc. and share with others (Right-click on Resource Packs folder and Add folder. Simply drag your content into your new folder)
- Use your flipchart as a lesson facilitator – focus on student collaboration and cognitive demand for your lessons rather than teacher-directed instruction and presentation
Getting Started Using Promethean – Just getting started? This PDF provides you a brief overview of the software and the browsers that you will use as you begin to work with this software application. Ready to learn more? Check out Help-Contents and Help-What’s New menus to explore each browser in greater depth.
- Computer with ActivInspire installed (version 1.2 comes installed on the image – update to the newest version under Help – Check for Updates)
- ActivBoard, ActivSlate, ActivPanel, ActiVotes, ActivExpressions (optional)
Tutorials and Resources
ActivInspire manual (up through v1.3) – This manual (recently made available in the Promethean Planet forum) provides you a clear visual overview of each menu that you will use within the software.
CCPS Criteria – The CCPS Promethean Leaders team developed this flipchart criteria resource to help teachers think critically about their ActivInspire flipcharts and to determine the criteria to ensure interactive teaching and learning. Use it as a resource when you are looking to download a flipchart from Promethean Planet or one that you would like to share with another teacher.
Working with Resource Packs – Have you downloaded Resource Packs from Promethean Planet and don’t know where to save them? Would you like to be able to search your Resource Packs by keyword? Do you need to know where your Resource Packs are saved to back them up prior to your computer being reimaged? Check here for all of your answers!
Updating Software and Drivers – Things not working well? Did you update your software and now your ActivSlate and response systems aren’t recognized. Here are the quick answers for updating your software and drivers.
ActivInspire Flash Objects not working correctly – If you are getting an error message about updating Flash or your Flash-based objects/buttons/players are not working, try these simple steps to update your Flash Player.
Getting Started with your ActivSlate 60 – Do you have a new ActivSlate 60 that needs to charge via USB port? Here are a few helpful tips for getting started and keeping your Slate running smoothly.
ActivInspire student database – Are you using ActiVotes or ActivExpressions and want to assign students to devices? These directions will walk you through the process of setting up a class database and even downloading student names from ESchool Plus.
Promethean Planet – This online community is quite active with more than 1.2 million members! With a free login, you can download flipcharts, download and install Resource Packs, access quality professional development, and ask questions in the online forum.
Flipcharts Aligned by State Standards – Quarterly, the National Academic Benchmark Standards groups selects flipcharts and align them to the current state standards. Use this link to search for flipcharts aligned to your curriculum. Remember that these flipcharts are not developed by our local teachers or even MD educators so you will want to edit them to align to your local outcomes and learning objectives.
ActivTips – Quick video tips that provide an overview of an ActivInspire function (see ActivInspire tab) or provide you a new interactive teaching tip (see Primary and Secondary tabs). Great bite-sized learning resources to support your professional development needs.
Teacher Feature – Meet other ActivEducators, watch their videos where they model best practices, and then download their featured flipcharts and resources!